Seniors that require assisted living can benefit extraordinarily from setting short and long-term goals to help them accomplish day to day tasks. “It is estimated that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men, who live past the age of 55, will develop dementia in their lifetime.” (http://idrp.pbrc.edu/faq.htm) In the early stages of dementia, senior goal-setting can help individuals with memory loss and improve their quality of life.
What kind of goals should be set?
Goals can be made to help individuals in different areas of life. Some people with early-stage dementia might want to develop skills to help them stay as independent as possible in their daily living. Others may want to focus on learning a new skill or mastering something that they already know. Goals can even be set to help individuals maintain an active social life or to develop stronger relationships with their families.
Working with a caregiver to set goals
There are significant benefits for individuals with dementia who work with caregivers on setting goals
1. Attainment – People who develop dementia may not fully understand which goals are achievable and which are not. Caregivers have experience working with different adults with different health issues and understand what types of goals will benefit an individual and which aren’t as beneficial. People often tend to set too many goals at a time, as well. Working with a caregiver can help an individual focus on 2-3 important goals at a time so that they do not become overwhelmed with too many goals at once.
2. Steps – Aside from setting attainable goals, a caregiver can help set the steps needed to reach particular goals. Although individuals could set steps on their own, caregivers can offer an outsider’s perspective and may provide insight that others may not consider. Having the experience of working with different people with different medical and mental health issues, a caregiver will know which steps work the most efficiently when it comes to reaching goals.
3. Support – When a caregiver helps a patient set goals, they are working alongside the individual and want the patient to be successful in completing the goals. The partnership becomes a highly valuable support system for the patient. Caregivers spend a lot of time helping seniors and developing relationships that are crucial in the patients’ lives. Individuals can benefit from having someone cheer them on as they reach milestones and goal completion, knowing the struggles and challenges that came for their patient.
Working with caregivers can seem unnecessary to many seniors, so it is essential to understand that having a caregiver work alongside you only increases the ability to remain independent and to perform tasks and activities that you enjoy. Quality of life is crucial when it comes to senior health and goal-setting is an excellent way to raise the quality of many aspects of life. Take some time to think and talk about goal setting, work on a plan to reach these goals in a fun way, and celebrate goal achievement as milestones are reached!
For more information on partnering with a SYNERGY caregiver to achieve your goals contact us at 877-432-2692 and we will connect you with a partner in your area.